Author Topic: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if? (WINNER ANNOUNCED!!)  (Read 3942 times)  Share 

tzachs

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What is the future preparing for us?
You tell me!
These are the rules:
1. Think of one aspect of the future that can change. Rephrase it in a "what if" sentence: "What if this and this will happen?"
2. Think of the answer, how will people's lives change?
3. Create your story around that.

For example:
1. What if there will be a hologram above people's heads showing their last score in a universal intelligence test?
2. It will motivate people to learn more and the average intelligence will rise. People who have lower scores will be ridiculed, they'll get frustrated and driven to crime. There will be an entire industry dedicated to cheat through those tests. There will be an underground movement that wants to stop it.
3. The story will tell of two best friends, where one tries to cheat through the intelligence test and the other joins the underground, and this difference tears them apart.

If you need more inspiration and haven't seen it already, I recommend watching Black Mirror.

The deadline: 18/11 (which, surprisingly enough, is in the future!)

 
« Last Edit: 24 Nov 2012, 15:58 by tzachs »

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #1 on: 01 Nov 2012, 23:12 »
The deadline: 18/11 (which, surprisingly enough, is in the future!)

Are you telling me that I can write a story that will appear right here in this thread... in the future?! But what if I choose not to write one? Will that be changing the future? Or am I supposed to write one and not writing it will change the future.

Oh noes! I don't want to destroy the universe with a paradox. But I don't want to risk not not destroying it either. What am I supposed to do?!?  8-0
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miguel

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #2 on: 02 Nov 2012, 00:18 »
Ponch, you can write something remarkable, something that would make us readers change our view on life and cows, and then delete it on the very last minute before the competition ends, delete your ags profile as well, your email accounts and facebook. You then would have changed the future without even existed...
Working on a RON game!!!!!

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #3 on: 02 Nov 2012, 01:43 »
And then I could return with no explanation of where I went or why. Perhaps I've already done this in the past, when I called myself Ghost.  (laugh)
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tzachs

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #4 on: 02 Nov 2012, 18:02 »
The deadline: 18/11 (which, surprisingly enough, is in the future!)

Are you telling me that I can write a story that will appear right here in this thread... in the future?! But what if I choose not to write one? Will that be changing the future? Or am I supposed to write one and not writing it will change the future.

Oh noes! I don't want to destroy the universe with a paradox. But I don't want to risk not not destroying it either. What am I supposed to do?!?  8-0
In the future, you have already written the story, so you don't really have a choice now, you have to write the story.
Also, don't listen to miguel, you have to publish it too! So does miguel, for that matter! And Ghost too, now that he's come back from the dead! And everybody else also! Write stories!

Ghost

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #5 on: 02 Nov 2012, 18:40 »
And Ghost too, now that he's come back from the dead! And everybody else also! Write stories!

I hear you and I will do so!  (nod)

tzachs

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #6 on: 14 Nov 2012, 21:00 »
Only 4 more days, the future is almost here!
Let's see some entries, if you don't write stories, there won't be any future!!!

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #7 on: 14 Nov 2012, 22:41 »
I have a beginning and an end for a story, but no middle. I can only hope future Ponch can figure out how to bridge the two bits, else a paradox is sure to ensue!  8-0
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tzachs

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #8 on: 16 Nov 2012, 08:17 »
Ooh, beginning and end with no middle, that can actually be a great theme for a future competition!

Ghost

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #9 on: 17 Nov 2012, 00:31 »
I have a beginning and an end for a story, but no middle. I can only hope future Ponch can figure out how to bridge the two bits, else a paradox is sure to ensue!  8-0

I have a headline and a middle part and a nice set of umlauts. Wanna mix-and-match?

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #10 on: 17 Nov 2012, 01:19 »
I have a beginning and an end for a story, but no middle. I can only hope future Ponch can figure out how to bridge the two bits, else a paradox is sure to ensue!  8-0

I have a headline and a middle part and a nice set of umlauts. Wanna mix-and-match?

And get umlauts all over my incomplete story? Is that the sort of America I want to live in? No sir! I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I did.  :=
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Ghost

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #11 on: 17 Nov 2012, 02:13 »

Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #12 on: 18 Nov 2012, 03:11 »
SPOIILER - Read plot outline only if you want to see the ending:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
-What if hamburger's ate people?
-People become livestock, herded into feedlots and eventually abattoirs.  Hamburger's grow fatter on the high protein diet while the rainforests are decimated for increased man-pasturage. Eventually the culminating effect of mankind's flatulence is climate change and the doom of hamburger civilization.
PLANET OF THE BLTS

CHAPTER 1 -THINGS GO AWRY

   Spaceman Scott winced as a blinding flash erupted outside his snazzy space blimp.  At first he thought its (entirely superfluous) hydrogen envelope had  burst into flame, but quickly dismissed the idea due to the chemical absence of an oxidizing agent in space.  Still, the flash had been unnerving, so he decided to turn his craft back towards Earth.
   Strange, he thought.  The perialtimeter is not responding to the satellite link.  Other gauges began to whine one at a time.  Suddenly the NavCom alarm went off, bathing the cockpit in a periodic red glow.  Spaceman Scott stared grimly at the non-responsive control panel in front of him and scratched his manly beard in a manful way.  I'm gonna have to bring this sucker down manually, he decided.
   Landing an eight ton intergalactic brick safely is a hard enough task for a computer; for a human it was like trying to catch a popcorn kernel with your upturned nostril in the dark.  Spaceman Scott furrowed his brow in concentration as the space blimp hit the first turbulence of atmosphere.  The craft shook violently, and the nose in front of him became tinged with the first glint of heat glow.  He closed his eyes and counted slowly: too soon and he wouldn't have enough drag to slow his descent; too late, and the hydrogen in the envelope would ignite and blow the whole craft into more pieces than a jigsaw puzzle convention.
   Eight, nine, ten....  The heat glow became ever more intense, the shaking maddeningly jarring, like the spin-cycle of an unbalanced washing machine in freefall.  Spaceman Scott opened his eyes and pulled the manual envelope release lever.  In an instance the force of the atmosphere ripped it away, leaving only the gondola hurtling towards the puffy cloud tops.  Spaceman Scott opened the ailerons and tilted the nose up in an attempt to slough some speed.  In a moment the craft was engulfed in the veiling mists of the cloud.  We're coming in too hot!
   Peering out the window he could suddenly see the shrouded outlines of a forested mountain.  He heaved on the controls, but it was no use: the gondola smashed into a tree, shearing off the landing gear and half the fuselage.  Moments later he hit another tree which took the right wing, and then the collisions game fast and quick as the craft burrowed through the mossy undergrowth....

        CHAPTER 2 -ENSNAREMENT

   Spaceman Scott opened his eyes.  All was still, but there was the smell of smoke.  Instinctively he unbuckled himself from the pilot's chair and crawled out through the shattered remains of the windshield.  Standing atop what remained of the gondola he could see a swath of burning jungle in his wake.  Being a man's man from Texas all he did was shrug: man dominated nature, hence it was his prerogative to destroy it if it served his purpose.  If he'd had a fat stogie, he'd have lit it up in celebration of his own miraculous survival, then flick the smouldering ash into nature's subservient eye.  Takes a real man to pull off that kind of stunt, he chuckled to himself.
   Spaceman Scott made his way through the thick jungle.  It was hard slogging over rough ground and muddy swamps, and he was about to despair that his heroic landing would go unheralded should he  perish of exposure or starvation when suddenly he was beset upon by some strange horsemen.  They flung a lasso around his neck and pushed a scalding iron rod into the flesh of his left buttock, all before he could get a decent look at them.  Maybe it was the trauma of the smell of his own searing flesh (like bacon after a hangover), or maybe it was the PTSD resurfacing from the crash, but Spaceman Scott blacked out again.

        CHAPTER 3 -THE PASTURE OF PLEASUREhellCHAPTER 4 -REVELATIONSCHAPTER 5 -CHECK MATE
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Or is it....?

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #13 on: 18 Nov 2012, 04:01 »
I like the cut of this Spaceman's jib.  :cool:
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tzachs

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #14 on: 19 Nov 2012, 17:43 »
Great story, Baron! This could very well be our future in the end, we should all be aware and vigilant.

Ok, so the deadline has officially passed. Ghost & Ponch (or anybody else), do you need an extension? Some more future perhaps?
I'm sure Baron doesn't want to win on default, so I'm gonna give it one more day (if somebody wants more time, please shout out asap). 

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #15 on: 19 Nov 2012, 18:36 »
Sadly, I must throw in the towel. I've tried several times, but I can't find a way to get from the opening scene to the twist ending that satisfies me.  :embarrassed:

Hopefully Ghost will have more luck. We can't allow those monocled, high-society types to think that they can just win all the trophies.
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Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #16 on: 20 Nov 2012, 02:03 »
We can't allow those monocled, high-society types to think that they can just win all the trophies.

You can't stop me thinking that!

Ponch

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #17 on: 20 Nov 2012, 03:25 »
We can't allow those monocled, high-society types to think that they can just win all the trophies.
You can't stop me thinking that!

At last! Inspiration!



"Mom, do I have to wear this?"

"Yes, Timmy. You have to wear it. Everyone has to wear one."

"But I look dumb. All the kids will laugh at me."

"No, they won't. They'll be wearing them too. You'll see."

"How? I can't see. Everything's all fuzzy and stuff."

"Only half of everything is fuzzy, Timmy," she sighed. "The bad half. The half you're seeing the old way. You have to learn to see the new way. Then it will all be okay."

The propaganda from the newsmen slipped out before she could catch herself and she hated herself for it.

"But Mooommmmmmmmmmm!'

"Go outside and wait for the bus," she said with that certain tone she knew he must obey.

And don't wander out into the street by accident, she thought to herself and gave a quick, silent prayer as he stumbled across the kitchen and fell against the door frame on his way out.

This is just how it's going to be from now on, she thought, resigning herself to it. Raising Tim by myself is going to be hard. Goodness, I wish John were still here.

But John had protested these new changes. No one liked them, of course. But what could you do? You can't fight the government. And that hideous man had been elected, fair and square. And now John had been dragged from his cubicle at work and sent off to the re-education camps. And he'd stay there until he died... Or until he learned to love his monocle.

She studied hers in the mirror. It was hard to see her own reflection. Her brain hadn't come to terms with a world in two different focuses.

Focuses? Foci? She wasn't sure. But pondering the proper pluralization briefly took her mind off the splitting headache she had endured ever since the new law had passed and she'd been forced to have herself fitted for this damn monocle.

John was right. I should have voted for the other guy, she realized belatedly. But that slogan "I'll Show You A Better Vision Of Tomorrow" had just been too good to resist.

Who knew that President Baron would keep his promises. No politician ever had before.

Clever bastard, she thought, and a single tear escaped her aching eye.

« Last Edit: 20 Nov 2012, 03:29 by Ponch »
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Baron

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #18 on: 20 Nov 2012, 13:03 »
Well, I realize we may not yet have seen all the submissions, but for me Ponch's piece demonstrates such a mastery of prose and ideas that I can't help but vote for him.  As I read his work I saw in my mind's eye a city on a mountain where young and old, rich and poor, jive-talkers and straight talkers all pranced about holding hands in one big circle of harmony.  And, in the due course of time, surely those folk in the re-education camps will be doing the same.  Like his mom, bless her unerring line-toeing, I too was moved to shed a single tear of joy at this paragon of literature, this magnus opus, this beautiful world that we can all get to if we just will it to be so.

Ghost

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Re: Fortnightly Writing Competition - What if?
« Reply #19 on: 20 Nov 2012, 21:00 »
I'm out, guys. I was too busy enjoying your stuff- clever clever entries!